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Regime Change For Law Change


Regime Change For Law Change

The New Zealand Government has made it explicitly clear that there will be no change to the legal status of cannabis in this parliamentary term. Libertarianz Deputy Leader Stephen Berry is not particuarly surprised. "The health select committee inquiry was done on the wrong terms, for the wrong reasons and presented to the wrong politicians."

Jim Anderton made the Government's position crystal clear today, when he said, "The Labour Progressive coalition government, which has a mandate until the end of 2005, will not change the legal status of cannabis. My party, the Progressive Party, will never support a change to the legal status of cannabis unless or until it is proven safe,"

Stephen Berry states, "Cannabis will never be proven safe because it can cause harms, which is widely acknowledged by both sides of the cannabis law reform debate. This is why I say the inquiry was done on the wrong terms. Safety is not the real issue, sovereignty over your own life is."

Anderton used the usual emotive arguments when making his case, including the "we need to send a strong message" argument. Berry says, "The only moral way to send a message is through advising and persuading. Locking people up is not a message about drug use, it is a deliberate violation of the right to govern your own body."

One positive of the Government's announcement is that it makes very clear what is required to get a change in cannabis laws through parliament - regime change. Berry says an analysis of the policies of individual parties makes it clear where support must go for the full legalisation of cannabis to occur:

PARTY POLICIES

Labour - Will only promise to 'review' the law

National - Supports prohibition

New Zealand First - Supports prohibition

Greens - Supports high regulation of cannabis use

ACT NZ - No policy

United Future - Supports prohibition

Progressive Party - Supports prohibition until cannabis is proven safe

Libertarianz - Supports total legalisation

To have cannabis legalised, vote regime change in 2005!

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